Blurry vision may be a minor problem that eye drops can help resolve. Other times, blurry vision may indicate something more serious, like diabetes, or a diabetes-related complication, like retinopathy.

Blurry vision means it’s harder to make out fine details in what you’re seeing.

Blurry vision can be an early sign of diabetes. For those who have a diagnosis of diabetes, blurry vision can indicate your blood sugars are too high or not in target range.

The reason your sight blurs may be fluid leaking into the lens of your eye. This makes the lens swell and change shape. Those changes make it hard for your eyes to focus, so things start to look fuzzy.

You may also get blurry vision when you start insulin treatment. This is due to shifting fluids, but it generally resolves after a few weeks. For many people, as blood sugar levels stabilize, so does their vision.

Read on to learn more about the possible causes of blurry vision with diabetes.

High blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, result from glucose building up in the blood when the body lacks enough insulin to process it.

Besides blurry vision, other symptoms of hyperglycemia include:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • increased thirst and urination

Higher blood sugars and average A1C levels can mean a higher risk of diabetes-related complications, including eye health issues such as:

One diabetes eye complication is diabetic retinopathy. It affects more than 1 in 3 people with diabetes, no matter the type they have.

A symptom of diabetic retinopathy is blurry vision.

The stages of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Stage 1: mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Stage 2: moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Stage 3: severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Stage 4: proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Most people don’t have symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until it has progressed to a later stage. Besides blurry vision, symptoms may include:

  • eye floaters
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • loss of vision
  • distorted vision
  • color changes in vision

While diabetic retinopathy can’t be reversed, treatment alongside diabetes management can stabilize it.

You might also have blurry vision if you’re developing cataracts. People with diabetes tend to develop cataracts at a younger age than other people. Cataracts cause the lens of your eyes to become cloudy.

Other symptoms include:

  • faded colors
  • clouded vision
  • double vision, usually in just one eye
  • light sensitivity
  • glare or halos around lights
  • vision that doesn’t improve with new glasses or a prescription that must be changed often

Blurry vision can also be a symptom of glaucoma, a disease in which pressure in your eye damages the optic nerve.

According to the National Eye Institute, if you have diabetes, your risk of glaucoma is double that of other adults.

Other symptoms of glaucoma may include:

  • loss of peripheral vision or tunnel vision
  • halos around lights
  • reddening of the eyes
  • eye pain
  • nausea or vomiting

The macula is the center of the retina. It’s the part of the eye that gives you sharp central vision.

Macular edema is when the macula swells due to leaking fluid. Other symptoms of macular edema include wavy vision and color changes.

Diabetic macular edema (DME) stems from diabetic retinopathy. It usually affects both eyes.

According to the National Eye Institute, 1 in 15 people living with diabetes will develop DME.

Diabetes increases the risk of a variety of eye problems. It’s important to manage your blood sugar, follow all medications and directions for testing, and have regular health checkups and eye exams. This should include a comprehensive eye exam with dilation every year.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, as well as all the medications you take.

Does blurry vision from diabetes go away?

It’s possible that addressing fluctuating glucose levels can make symptoms like blurry vision fade away.

But if you’re experiencing this symptom, it could also indicate diabetic retinopathy. This may require treatment, including the potential for laser therapy or medicated eye injections.

Your eye doctor is the best professional to consult to assess your eye health and treat it as needed.

Does blurry vision mean I have diabetic retinopathy?

Blurry vision is just one symptom of diabetic retinopathy. It’s not a guarantee you have this condition.

Several issues related to diabetes or your medications can affect your vision. It could also indicate another health issue or condition.

Consulting healthcare professionals is a good first step to determine whether you need to visit your eye doctor for more examinations or treatment.

Do I need lasers or injections for blurry vision from diabetes?

Not necessarily. While blurry vision could be a sign you’ve developed diabetic retinopathy, that’s not a guarantee. And just because you have diabetic retinopathy does not always mean you need laser therapy or eye injections.

An eye care team specializing in diabetes eye health can best determine what’s needed for you.

Blurry vision can be a minor problem with a quick fix, such as eye drops or a new prescription for eyeglasses.

However, it can also indicate a serious eye disease or an underlying condition other than diabetes. That’s why it’s best to report any blurry vision and other vision changes to your doctor.

In many cases, early treatment can correct the problem and prevent it from getting worse.